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The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins


Published: November 2007
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Published: 22nd September 2009
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Book Description

The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types.

His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world.

In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights.

And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children.

The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

"A very important book, especially in these times... a magnificent book, lucid and wise, truly magisterial " -- Ian McEwan "Written with all the clarity and elegance of which Dawkins is a master. It should have a place in every school library - especially in the library of every "faith" school" -- Philip Pullman "A resounding trumpet blast for truth... It feels like coming up for air" -- Matt Ridley "A spirited and exhilarating read... Dawkins comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments, laying into fallacies and false doctrines with the energy of the polemicist at his most fiery" -- Joan Bakewell Guardian "This is my favourite book of all time... a heroic and life-changing work" -- Derren Brown

Prefacep. 1
A Deeply Religious Non-Believerp. 9
Deserved respectp. 11
Undeserved respectp. 20
The God Hypothesisp. 29
Polytheismp. 32
Monotheism P37
Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of Americap. 38
The poverty of agnosticismp. 46
NOMAp. 54
The Great Prayer Experimentp. 61
The Neville Chamberlain school of evolutionistsp. 66
Little green menp. 69
Arguments for God"s Existencep. 75
Thomas Aquinas" "proofs"p. 77
The ontological argument and other a priori argumentsp. 80
The argument from beautyp. 86
The argument from personal "experience"p. 87
The argument from scripturep. 92
The argument from admired religious scientistsp. 97
Pascal"s Wagerp. 103
Bayesian argumentsp. 105
Why There Almost Certainly is no Godp. 111
The Ultimate Boeing 747p. 113
Natural selection as a consciousness-raiserp. 114
Irreducible complexityp. 119
The worship of gapsp. 125
The anthropic principle: planetary versionp. 134
The anthropic principle: cosmological versionp. 141
An interlude at Cambridgep. 151
The Roots of Religionp. 161
The Darwinian imperativep. 163
Direct advantages of religionp. 166
Group selectionp. 169
Religion as a by-product of something elsep. 172
Psychologically primed for religionp. 179
Tread softly, because you tread on my memesp. 191
Cargo cultsp. 202
The Roots of Morality: Why Are we Good?p. 209
Does our moral sense have a Darwinian origin?p. 214
A case study in the roots of moralityp. 222
If there is no God, why be good?p. 226
The "Good" Book and the Changing Moral Zeitgeistp. 235
The Old Testamentp. 237
Is the New Testament any better?p. 250
Love thy neighbourp. 254
The moral Zeitgeistp. 262
What about Hitler and Stalin? Weren"t they atheists?p. 272
What"s Wrong with Religion? Why be so Hostile?p. 279
Fundamentalism and the subversion of sciencep. 282
The dark side of absolutismp. 286
Faith and homosexualityp. 289
Faith and the sanctity of human lifep. 291
The Great Beethoven Fallacyp. 298
How "moderation" in faith fosters fanaticismp. 301
Childhood, Abuse and the Escape from Religionp. 309
Physical and mental abusep. 315
In defence of childrenp. 325
An educational scandalp. 331
Consciousness-raising againp. 337
Religious education as a part of literary culturep. 340
A Much Needed Gap?p. 345
Binkerp. 347
Consolationp. 352
Inspirationp. 360
The mother of all burkasp. 362
Appendix: A partial list of friendly addresses, for individuals needing support in escaping from religionp. 375
Books cited or recommendedp. 380
Notesp. 388
Indexp. 400
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.
Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, author and outspoken atheist. He has established himself as a biological guru with the publication of books detailing and expanding upon Darwinian theory. Wired Magazine says this "Revolutionary Evolutionist" is the first true ethologist of the gene. Richard Dawkins has been concerned to convince the literate public that they must now take evolutionary theory seriously as the context within which to think about ourselves and the world and he strives to bring his theories to an audience of lay readers through comprehensible analogies and clear writing.The Wall Street Journal said his "passion is supported by an awe-inspiring literary craftsmanship." The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too." Among his books are The Ancestor's Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil's Chaplain,The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Born March 26, 1941, son of Clinton John (a farmer) and Jean Mary Vyvyan (Ladner) Dawkins; married author Marian Stamp, August 19, 1967 (divorced, 1984); married Eve Barham, June 1, 1984 (divorced); children-Juliet Emma; married actress Lalla Ward, 1992. Education: Balliol College, Oxford University, B.A., 1962, M.A., 1966, D.Phil., 1966.

University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor of zoology, 1967-69; Oxford University, Oxford, England, lecturer in zoology and fellow of New College, 1970-90, reader in zoology, 1990-95; Evolutionary biologist and the Charles Simonyi Professor For The Understanding Of Science at Oxford University; Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in May, 2001.The Galaxy British Book Awards named him Author of the Year in 2006 for The God Delusion, and in 2008 his TV program 'The Genius of Charles Darwin' won Best Documentary Series at the British Broadcast Awards. He was listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2007.

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ISBN: 9780552773317
ISBN-10: 055277331X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: November 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.1  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.33